Wednesday, December 31, 2008

Happy Holidays!

We have been having uninvited guests for dinner in the evening. The possum family visits our outside cat dishes every night, looking for food. We've fed an array of animals over the holidays - birds, possums, raccoons, squirrels, etc. They all ate well on Christmas Day.

On Boxing Day (day after Christmas) we had Fish & Chips, English tea, Spotted Dick (steamed pudding) with sauce, Kipling tarts and shortbread. We opened poppers. Next year I think we will make our own. These were unremarkable in spite of their cool outside appearance.

The kittens were thrilled with Christmas. Here, Mr. T. "helped" me decorate a wreath.

Tiger Lilly was enthralled with all the wrapping paper!

Rich, the recycler, found another use for his wrapping paper. Pope Richard?

Damien got a bigger kick out of pretending to open Becca's Victoria Secret bag - she received a lotion set from there.

I was sick so much between Thanksgiving and Christmas that Becca had to help wrap most of the gifts, so she didn't have too many surprises since she wrapped some of her own gifts too!

Tony, displaying a game he received from Pappa.

Here is Tony's display of his nutcracker collection. We put them all together on the piano this year. He has received more since this was taken!

Mr. T. enjoyed all the nutcrackers and Christmas cards displayed on the piano. He liked to rearrange thing daily.

Merry Christmas!
Happy New Year!
Blessings to you all!

Thursday, December 18, 2008

Catching Up with KeepUp!

Like Simba, I have been on the go lately! Then, bugs and viruses slowed me down! Between the two, I have not posted in a while! Here's a little catchup!

Here's a picture of my Thanksgiving table. I've been looking for a ceramic turkey as a centerpiece, but haven't found one I could afford. My mom brought me this metal one on a recent visit. She's had it for a while. After her visit, she found a couple of turkeys on sale, so we might just swap turkeys ever year or two.

We celebrated mom's birthday! Betty Jo Clark was 76 on November 15th. We had dinner and cake at my house the day before. We went out to Macaroni Grill over the weekend where we celebrated again and mom got a solo of "Happy Birthday" in Italian from a very talented lady who worked there.

Here's mom and Becca in the kitchen (my trash can and mop handles
appear in so many of my pictures! argh!
Richard and Mom. Since we weren't getting together for Thanksgiving or Christmas, we decided to celebrate all holidays while they were here. Mom wore her Christmas sweater and passed out gifts and dinner was Turkey and dressing with all the usual holiday fixings!

Mom, opening cards and gifts while Tony goofs off and James David enjoys cake. We were tired of turkey, so ate Wendy's before cake and ice cream!

Here's my dad and niece Erin. I think dad was tired of being blinded by the camera flash. Damien was taking most of the pictures and he got carried away with the camera!

This is a picture of Damien's 7th grade band. He is in the middle, about 2/3rd of the way up.

Here's a better shot - 6th person in on this row. This was their second concert this year and first one in formal wear. They did very well.

Here's Damien with his trumpet after the concert. He is joining pep band next semester. He is getting better after forced practice (I remember those days!) and if he continues to enjoy band in high school we will get him a better trumpet.

This is Tony's 15th birthday. He asked for a Three Musketeers cake! I made a chocolate cake and chopped up mini candies and put them in the center between layers and then more minis all around the top and sides. I used low sugar icing with all that candy! It was good, but I had to leave off the candy - too sweet!

Tony asked for gift cards to several book stores and he has since bought a few books and is saving the rest for a new book coming out in a series that he enjoys. James David and Erin came over to enjoy Lasagna and cake/ice cream with us. Rich was sick with a cold.

Lilly is holding watch for santa! We put up a very small tree this year. Figured with two cats that were celebrating their first Christmas, a big tree might be dangerous! They tore up the first box we put the tree up on and they won't leave the white tree spread alone - they've pulled it off the box almost every day. They have knocked over the tree twice. We had to move all the balls off the bottom and they still attack the bead garland, but boy, do they love the tree!!

Mr. T. has also helped decorate. Here, he is in the middle of a wreath I was trying to make for the back door. He also likes to knock the nutcrackers off the piano. We gave up on putting any packages out. - They tried to open them!

Finally, here's T under the tree. He likes to nap there several hours every day. Lilly takes her turn too and I sometimes find them both there! Rich says we should leave it up year round for them and decorate it according to each holiday - New year's, valentines, Easter, July 4th, etc.!

The kids are out of school tomorrow. I am almost over my cold! Let the holidays begin! Love to you all!

Tuesday, November 4, 2008

Mr. T.

We got a new kitten about 10 days ago. We all had a rough time after we lost Teddy and we missed him terribly. We had room for a new kitten and knew we would love one, so I started a search for another kitten that was a Maine Coon mix because we found out how smart and loving they are. We wanted another male and a younger kitten than Teddy so he would adjust to our household and our other kitten, Tiger Lilly, who was almost 8 months old. So, introducing Mr. T.!! As you can see, he is happy to be a part of our family!

Mr. T. is officially Thadeus Pierre Keating. He was 3 months old when we got him, but a little small for his age - in fact he was terribly skinny. Still, he took a regal picture!. While he is similar to Teddy, he definitely has his own personality. Physically, he has bigger ears, a longer tail and longer fur than Teddy. His eyes are the strangest color of green - almost aqua. Teddy had yellow eyes and was fat and had a high pitched voice. Mr. T. has a 'cracked' voice and he really likes to talk!
He has taken up with everyone and is certainly a lap cat! Every naptime, he seeks out someone to sleep on or with! And, after only a week, Lilly was completely taken with him. She went from hissing to smelling, to licking, to playing to loving him in just under a week!

Friday, October 31, 2008

Happy Halloween!

Happy Halloween! We didn't have many trick o' treaters this year, but these are a few of the one we did have!
Now, we wish we had doubled and tripled their candy!
I guess there weren't too many houses handing out treats this year - has the economy problems hit Halloween? I was happy to fill up my gas tank for under $20 today.

Rebecca's friend canceled her party, so Hunter came over to help us celebrate here. Rebecca had to dress him up.....

All the kids decorated luminaries for our driveway. Of course, a scary theme.

Rebecca in her pumpkin shirt and black lipstick. She helped the others roast marshmallows over a little grill and make smores.

Tony greeted everyone at the porch. I told him not to scare the little kids too much - they would be afraid of Santa come Christmas time!! The porch had a rug with bubblewrap under it that popped when they walked across. We also had scary music/sounds playing. Damien handed out candy - he was inside the door and didnt wear a costume. He had dressed up as someone from the "70s" for school that day.

We had our usual Spooky dinner! Here are our bloody fingers! (White asparagus with a little ketchup).

Here we have bloody worms! (Spaghetti).

And here bloody eyeballs... (meatballs with olives).
A new treat this year was "mummies" (Weiners wrapped in dinner rolls).

We also had "ghosts" (Meringue cookies - they didnt get dry enough and were rather sticky).

And that was our nice, scary dinner with a few extras. Wish you were here to enjoy all our left over candy!

Monday, October 20, 2008

Goodbye to Family Pet- Tribute to Teddy

Our black male cat, Theodore Bear Keating, was hit and killed by a car last week. He was only 7 months old, but big - 8 1/2 lbs. He would have been a big cat at full grown. We all took it hard - the first time the kids can remember losing a pet - but especially me because he had picked me to be his person and went everywhere I went. He was the only male cat out of four in our house (he does have a big brother who lives outside). He was bundle of love and I've never had a cat like him. I hope that some day we will be lucky enough to have a cat with his personality.

Here he is with Rich at about 4 weeks - just after we found him and his sisters in the woods behind our house.

This is how he liked to sleep - tucked in the corner of my chair in my lap. He was maybe 3 months old here. Already big!

Another baby picture - before his eyes turned YELLOW!

Here he is with his sister, Tiger Lilly. She loved Teddy, as you can see. She misses him too.

Teddy had the shiniest hair - hard to capture in a picture. I said it looked like Elvis' hair.

Below is a picture of Lilly and Teddy, drinking together. She wanted to drink, eat, sleep, potty only when he did. She is finally getting in the habit of making her own schedule without him and starting to eat a little more.

This was the last picture we took of him just two days before he died. I had come upstairs to do a little reading and he decided to take a nap on my magazine. He is sleeping with his own little "Teddy Bear". We buried it and his toys and a snack with him. We also put in a dozen dried roses. Teddy loved roses and tried to eat them every time I received or bought some. I had a bowl of dried roses on display and he would steal one and carry it around. They all went with him. The boys helped Rich bury him in the back yard near the woods.

Everyone should have the pleasure and enjoyment of a loving pet. May each of you be blessed with the unconditional love of a pet in your lifetime!